5 most important fleet KPIs from telematics systems

Fleet managers rely on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from their telematics systems to guide their business decisions, understand how their fleet is performing, and make improvements where necessary. 

But sometimes it can be overwhelming to go through all the data presented in many of today’s solutions and fleet managers are wondering exactly which KPIs are the most important.  

Stop the analysis paralysis and read on to find out which metrics you should take your time to track and analyze to have a well-oiled machine, we mean fleet.   

Here are the top five data points every fleet manager should be checking in their telematics solution.  

1. Predictive maintenance 

Extend the life of your fleet vehicles, improve their fuel economy, and avoid major downtime or big repairs by investing in proactive maintenance. Keeping your vehicles on regular maintenance schedules can have long-term savings, and even improve fuel economy. 

The US Department of Energy found that underinflated tires reduce fuel economy by up to 3%. Keeping vehicles in working condition is an easy win for your fleet, especially when your telematics solution is finding any maintenance needs automatically for you.  

Metrics to track: Unplanned maintenance, downtime, regularly scheduled services 

2. GPS tracking and routing 

Here’s a fun fact and route optimization tip you can copy from UPS: Drivers do not make left turns. 

UPS has saved more than 10 million gallons of fuel since 2004 after enacting the policy. The reason? UPS was burning through fuel by having trucks idling at traffic lights or in turn lanes, so they optimized routes to use right turns where they’d have the right of way, unless a left cannot be avoided.   

This unique policy has improved their drivers’ idle time and improved productivity. Now, not every fleet can tell drivers not to make left turns, but it does showcase there are creative solutions to routing to reduce fuel spend and improve productivity. 

Routing and GPS tracking are two important features of any telematics solution and leveraging that data can optimize operations by putting drivers on better routes, knowing how long they spent on site, and knowing if and when they deviate from the planned route.  

Metrics to track: Time on site, unassigned mileage per vehicle, distance traveled, frequency of stops 

3. Driver behavior and safety 

Telematics solutions act like a fly on the wall when it comes to your fleet drivers’ behaviors while on the road. You can learn more about your drivers’ habits and adherence to safety policies by checking speed, rapid acceleration, hard braking, and any accidents. 

Did you know that rapid acceleration and harsh braking can reduce fuel mileage by as much as 33% at highway speeds? That’s what the US Department of Energy reports, so not only can eco-friendly driving behaviors reduce your fuel costs, it also keeps your drivers safer behind the wheel.  

With your telematics system, you can create driver safety scorecards and give incentives to drivers to follow the rules of the road. At Derive, we use Distracted Driver Prevention® or DDP to lock a driver’s phone when paired to their vehicle and the vehicle is in a driving gear. Drivers can unlock for emergency situations, but managers are instantly notified, and for emergency situations, inbound calls are allowed from approved phones. 

Metrics to track: Speeding, acceleration/jackrabbit starts, harsh braking, accidents, phone use while driving 

4. Fuel efficiency  

Similar to driver behavior, your telematics solution should be able to provide insight into which vehicles and/or drivers are using excessive fuel, or idling too long, and miles per gallon. According to Fleet Financials, 60% of a fleet’s operation budget goes to fuel, so finding fuel-efficient vehicles or making upgrades to your engines’ software to reduce fuel use can make significant impacts to your bottom line.   

Metrics to track: Fuel economy per vehicle, miles per gallon, engine idle time 

5. Asset trackers 

Considering downsizing your fleet or want to protect your assets in a more proactive manner? Asset tracking in your telematics solution can take care of that. You can run reports on assets that have been inactive, which assets have higher than average fuel costs, and which assets require more maintenance or specialized parts. Maximize your ROI out of your fleet assets by tracking them with a telematics solution instead of a paper trail.  

Metrics to track: Asset activity 

When it comes to fleet KPIs, there’s no shortage of data but we think these top five buckets of metrics are the best starting point. Want to learn more about easy ways to improve fuel efficiency in your fleet? Download our free guide on engine calibrations.